But how does it work?


3 Responses to “Cool!”

  1. 1 Sam
    June 18, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    A capacitor is an electrical component made by holding two conducting materials near to each other with an insulating material in between. Electric charge builds up on one end, which basically creates a difference in potential energy between the ends. The energy difference relies on the distance between the conductors as well as the “capacitance” of the component, which is basically a measure of how much charge it takes to cause a certain potential difference.

    When playing the theremin, hands act as one plate in a capacitor, with the antennae acting as the opposite plates. This works because the human body is a conductor, and when standing on the ground acts as zero voltage, which allows for the energy difference between a hand and an antenna.

    The rest I can’t figure out how to describe in layman’s terms, because as soon as you start to vary the current in a capacitor, it gets a lot more mathematical. Basically, each antennae is exposed to an alternating current, which does some physics and by reading the change in capacitance due to hand motions, can choose a pitch.

  2. June 19, 2012 at 12:22 am

    So basically it’s just a lot of hand-waving? Like politics…

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